Sunday, June 3, 2012
It is very humid and getting hotter here as we speak in the Garden State of New Jersey. Last week I opened the patio door and thought I had stepped into a spa’s steam room! WOW! It felt quite good at first and then it felt almost like you were suffocating the air was so heavy! But tis the season. The humidity comes with the warm weather and since we have started summer, it’s time. We did have a beautiful spring and the rains have made everything very green and lush. When it rains here there is a fine mist that hovers over the state. It is very, very pretty, but very, very damaging to the hair as in FRIZZ! My hairdo has reverted back to the eighties! Big (even bigger than when I left!), poofy and pure frizz. Sometimes the mist is a little spooky. It reminds me what it would be like if you were in a suspense or mystery movie in London!
Along with the humidity and rains come the green trees. It feels like we live in the mountains. We have huge trees all around us. Our backyard looks like the Sacred Grove. Absolutely beautiful! Several deer were there the other night, squirrels and chipmunks play daily and a rabbit hopped through. Now if we can get rid of the ticks, ants that are an inch in size and mosquitoes then everything would be quite nice. But we know the saying… opposition in all things.
We have had a wonderful month of interviews with our missionaries. It is great to have one on one time with each of them, to feel their spirits, listen to their testimonies and how they feel about their missions. We had a visa waiter who came to Jersey while waiting to go to Guatemala. President Jeppson asked him “When your companions in Guatemala ask you what the New Jersey missionaries were like, what will you tell them:” He said “They were the finest missionaries I could have ever hoped for. Their obedience blew me away!” Well, we could have told them that because we have been BLESSED WITH THE BEST!
We were pleased to have Elder Kevin R. Duncan and his wife, Nancy, come to teach and train our missionaries on a mission tour. He gave our missionaries a promise “You will double your baptisms when you are teaching, contacting and sharing the gospel and if they say I am not interested, you reply with, ‘Is there someone you know who might be interested in our message?’” We are ready and willing for the challenge. Our missionaries looked terrific. They came with shoes shined, hair cuts, hair styled, pressed clothes and smiles. Sister Duncan told me after, “Oh you can tell you love your missionaries and they really love you!”
But many long hours of sitting in interviews and two days of sitting in the mission conference, Jon’s back issue has decided to return with a vengeance! So we are back to the doctors and getting therapy. Argggg!
We participated in a service project in Passaic (a city in New Jersey). We filled many yellow bags with weeds and trash. The city was looking much better when the Mormon Helping Hands in yellow t-shirts went to work. “Have I done any Good in the World Today?” Well, we did that day! (I am sure bending over pulling weeds for several hours didn’t help El Presidente’s back either!)
On Memorial Day we had our Senior Missionaries come over for a barbeque. The invitation we sent out was:
“What is on your Bucket List?”
See the Great Wall of China
Visit Mount Rushmore
Serve a Mission to New Jersey
Have a Barbeque at the Mission Home
We had delicious food, laughs, stories, testimonies and heard one thing from everyone’s bucket list! Our Senior Missionaries are so important and we love them. We could not run this mission without them. They are helpful and the missionaries think they are the greatest. We do to!!
Our missionaries continue to work hard, teaching, testifying and baptizing. One baptism was of a 16 year old boy. He was excited all day. He brought his parents and his godmother to church. That was the first time, the sister missionaries had met them. After he was baptized, his dad started clapping and he said to our sister, “I’m next!” She turned and said, “Wait, what did you say? Did you just say that you are next?” The dad gave her a big smile and said, “Uhh…! Our sister said, “You’re right! You are Next!” He said he is going to try and get every Sunday morning off from now on so he can come to church and support his son. He also mentioned that it is kind of crazy to him but every time he comes to our church he has a really good time and always leaves feeling really happy! That is what the gospel does to people!
Another sister, taught a convert named, June, who after her baptism moved to Florida. She is coming to visit New Jersey and told our sister that she has 2 of the 7 temple lessons under her belt. She took it upon herself to create the Sunday program for the ward. She started the church clean up crew on Saturday mornings, got a calling as a ward missionary, received her patriarchal blessing and she is now the Stake Relief Society Secretary! Now if that isn’t helping the church establish real growth, I don’t know what to tell you. We are trying to do our part in this little State of Jersey. Hopefully you are doing the same!
I do know, however, that New Jersey may be humid and steamy, but we have the best missionaries teaching the gospel anywhere! They are on fire!
We love and miss you all, Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson